Fr. Roger Landry: Suicide, Depression, and a ‘Crisis of Hope’: Offering Real Help to Our Youth in Despair

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Hands in despair (CC0 Cristian Newman on Unsplash)

COMMENTARY: Our young people’s sadness, hopelessness and suicidal thoughts are a desperate cry for this attentive love in the midst of their existential and ever-urgent questions.

Father Roger LandryOn Feb. 13, the Centers for Disease Control published its biennial Youth Risk Behavior Survey Data Summary and Trends Report for 2011-2021 and it showed the truly alarming, and rapidly worsening, situation of the mental and spiritual health of high school students in the United States.

The report documented that 42% of U.S. high school teens in 2021 said they felt persistently sad or hopeless, 22% seriously considered attempting suicide in the previous year, 18% had come up with a concrete plan on how they would end their life, and 10% percent actually tried to carry out that plan (and thankfully failed). …